A Blend of Nature and City, with an introduction by Mayim Bialik

January 12th, 2011. Categories / San Francisco

San Francisco. The city by the bay. The foggy apple. Many times I’ve waxed poetic about the beauty of this place, its balance of buildings, botany, and bridges. That’s why I’m overjoyed that Mayim Bialik offered to pick up some of the slack and share her thoughts on San Francisco. Besides being a wonderful neuroscientist, Mayim is also a respected actress. If you didn’t grow up falling in love with her character Blossom Russo in Blossom, you have no capacity to love.

Mayim Bialik.

An Introduction:
San Francisco is like Reform Judaism. For the latter, traditions should be modernized and be compatible with participation in the surrounding culture. In the case of the 12th most populous city in the United States, it’s about modernization while preserving the surrounding nature. There are few places that have such a perfect blend of urbanism and naturalism. One minute I can be studying with my Partners in Torah partner, Allison Josephs, at Judaism Wharf. The next, I can take a cable car into the deepest, darkest, hobo-infested woods. The city is dense and the nature is sprawling. Every direction is a reasonable distance from a large body of water.

Often, I’m reminded of the episode of Blossom where Six had a crush on my TV brother Joey and she dressed in a costume so that he ended up kissing her. I don’t know why.

Of my many regrets, the biggest is that I’ve never gotten to live in San Francisco. I was born in San Diego, California and spent most of my childhood in the festering hell-hole that is Los Angeles. Talk about a place with a disharmonious relation with nature! If I hadn’t decided to do some bit parts on TV, I think I could have moved north by now. I’d much rather be getting pooped on by a seagull on Golden Gate Bridge than schmoozing with Kunal Nayyar at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

But this is the life I lead. For now, I have to live vicariously through the photos Nik has taken while exploring the area.

This post’s batch is pretty amazing, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.


Thanks Mayim, I couldn’t have said it better even if I wanted to. Without further ado, photos for you:

Fog rolls in over Twin Peaks, as seen from Hawk Hill.

Looking down the other side of Hawk Hill into the valley.

A tale of two bridges.

A Presidio park steward ascends a replanted bunker to retrieve a satchel full of invasive weeds.

Irises glowing along Lands End Trail.

Off the beaten path in search of a geocache.

Climbing along a crumbling cliff at the rocky beach at the bottom of Lands End Trail.

A smooth, dead tree.

A at the bathroom at the edge of the universe.

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the shafts of light, oh the shafts of light.

A ridge road into Bolinas.


Stinson Beach and the cliffs.


Trouble with the road.

Hiking along the cliffs at the the start of GGNRA land north of Bolinas.

A turkey vulture flying straight at yours truly.

Sunset over the Pacific.

Sea foam beach, just a day later.

A radio controlled fishing boat at Spreckels Lake in Golden Gate Park.

Miniature honeys.

The boatmaster.

J trying to play it cool while we wait for muggles to pass.


Old vespa.

This man is screwed.

Red mustang.

Hand painted alley sign in Chinatown.

Mei Wo Florist sign.

There’s a hobo sleeping inside this corrugated coffin.

Christmas cactus in full bloom.

Patriotic, miniature Spiderman.

Dismantled ice rink.

Coolant tubes.

Classy bay trash.

Total Recall must have based the future’s architecture on this ferry terminal.


Don’t mind me, I’m just drilling a boat.

The hot look for this season: grey wool and colorful tights.

Green window.

Cable car operator takes a break at the Taylor street MUNI “lounge” while watching an Indian restaurant’s delivery van get jumped.

The sidewalk stairs on one of the steepest streets in town: Filbert between Hyde and Leavenworth.

An SUV begins the descent.

The last few days have involved a lot of exploring, both on scooter and foot. I hope that I will get to continue this for the rest of 2011, hopefully while earning money along the way.

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